Week 34 is quickly approaching a close. As much as I know the end is near, I want to sit in the backseat repeating ARE WE THERE YET ARE WE THERE YET ARE WE THERE YET until someone answers me.
(so, are we there yet?)
I’m at the point where I don’t know if I’m really close or still have a long way to go. I keep reminding myself that in a little over 6 weeks, I get to go back to being me again. ME! That is, after I lose a boatload of weight, survive the joys of nursing and see every hour of the day for what might just be 6 weeks straight.
I forget how FUN the newborn stage is going to be!
I had a doctor’s appointment last week. Per usual the nurse started with can you give a sample? Do you even need to ask? Chances are I am providing a sample right now in my shorts because I am one track workout beyond the point where I can hold it as a little person trampolines on my bladder. I can always provide a sample. Always. In fact, after I provide a sample, I will probably be able to sit back down and provide yet another sample.
But wait – from there it gets better.
Hop on the scale.
THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART! What every gloriously large pregnant wants to do, put a number on her misery.
But then something happened that might be the best thing that’s happened to me in 34 weeks.
I DID NOT GAIN ANY WEIGHT.
After a steady pattern of a pound a week, it feels good to walk out of that office feeling like I had a small victory. To celebrate I went home and ate ice cream. Hey, I need the calories.
Next, I met with the doctor. This time when she asked, “anything else you want to talk about?” I fessed up to the return of nausea. After dealing with nausea for the first 16 – 18 weeks, I was not too happy to have it return! When I asked her why I was getting nauseous, she said, in her highly educated I went to 20+ years of school for this, sometimes that just happens.
At that moment, I looked back at her like that’s the best you could do. And she looked back at me like you pregnant women are all crazy.
I’m glad I brought it up.
I also had a growth scan. Right now, baby is 4 pounds and projected to be 7 pounds 5 ounces by 40 weeks. Of course they told me Max would weigh over 8 pounds and he came out at 7 pounds 9 ounces. My guess is she’ll be right around 7 pounds. Yet one can never know. Here's why: I walked into the coffee shop the other day, carrying a very upset Max Waterstraat who just had a painful run in with the car door, was wearing his froggy boots on the wrong feet and was miserably coughing with a cold. Seeing this sad sight (obscenely pregnant woman trying to carry sick child), a man opened the door for me.
How do you feel?
You women all say that. My wife felt big but didn’t look big. Then she went on to deliver an 11 pound 5 ounce baby. Largest one ever born at that hospital.
Was that supposed to make me feel better? BECAUSE NOW I AM VERY SCARED. And let it be known that if I give birth to something bigger than my dog, my you know what will be closed PERMANENTLY. Consider it early retirement.
Though technically I still have 6 weeks to go, the doctor insisted I decide how I will give birth and then commit to some dates. When people ask me if I have a birth plan, I tell them my plan is to give birth. Quite honestly, after spending so much time to get to this point, it doesn’t matter how she comes out of me. I just want her here.
Since I’m a candidate for VBAC, I decided I want to give it a try. If it ends, again, in c-seciton, I’m ok with that – I have a roadmap for where that goes and what I can expect for recovery. Because of this, the doctor is giving me the full time to allow things to start on their own. If she doesn’t come by then, I have a scheduled c-section on August 28th.
Which seems so close but yet so far away.
I’m reaching that point of pregnancy where I find myself totally bored by it. I’m bored of being big, moving slow and answering everyone’s questions: when are you due, what are you having, are you excited. I want to walk around with a sign that says August 27th, girl, SCARED BEYOND BELIEF ABOUT HOW I AM GOING TO MANAGE TWO CHILDREN, A HUSBAND, A YARD AND A DOG. And let me tell you, it’s the dog that is pushing me over the edge. How can something so small shed so much fur? HOW?
The other night, in a fit of pregnancy insomnia which often leaves me up between the hours of 2 and 4 am for no good reason at all, I found myself googling 34+weeks+pregnant+bored. Just like there are women out there who spent the better part of their first trimester hating their husband (SISTERS!), there are many women out there who are bored. And thank goodness for the internet which provided me with a list of how to cure my boredom.
Number 3 on the list: Have sex.
Excuse my long pause there, I had to get up and change my shorts because I just pissed myself with uncontrollable laughter.
Back to being bored.
As for workouts, after week 31 I fell off of a giant cliff of pregnancy slowness. My swimming slowed down by at least 10 seconds per 100, my running by at least 1 minute per mile. In fact, I think my running days are over. It takes about 30 minutes for my lower legs to stop screaming during which I make 4 potty stops and then – only then, do I actually start to enjoy “running”. And since I am about 3 minutes per mile shy of the pace I can hold WALKING, I have to keep asking myself is this actually enjoyable?
Yet today I did manage to run 3 miles. Which goes to show the mystery of working out when pregnant. Some days you feel amazing. Other days you feel like you’re one fake contraction away from giving birth.
I went to masters the other day and had a magical swim in my old lane. I even busted out 10 x 25 fly on the :30. Of course with fins but at this point, the 4+ pound weight in my stomach has got to counteract any buoyancy from fins so the physics of it all means I WIN. Or something like that. While one swimmer said to me haven’t you been pregnant forever? (gee, I can only imagine how painful this has been for all of you), Marty (lanemate) told me you look good with a little weight on (a little? TRY NEARLY 30 POUNDS).
After swimming, I went into the weight room and had a 75 year old man tell me don’t do too much while wagging his finger at me. As I looked at him, blankly, wanting to do nothing more than to slap him with the cable that I was currently pulling a monster 12 ½ pounds with, it occurred to me that I may just be crossing my threshold of tolerance for things other people say to me. Which means my husband should probably build a pregnancy hut and put me in it until late August.
Back to working out. Right now I enjoy biking the most. I bike on the crushed limestone path early in the morning. The other day, after the 7 minute ride on the sidewalk up to the path, I safely crossed the one street I have to cross and thought to myself it’s nice that I can ride outside and still feel safe. No sooner did I hear an unusual screeching sound from my rear wheel, I made it across the street and realized:
MY REAR WHEEL was dislodging from the dropout.
So much for safety.
I was out there, cruising at a speedy 10 to 12 mph, looking around at the beautiful blue skies, purple clover and green meadows. I thought to myself every athlete should spend a year just enjoying themselves like this – no pressure to perform, no metrics, no races – just go out and do what feels good, when it feels good, when the weather cooperates and get lost in the absolute enjoyment of it. No thoughts, no evaluation, no overthinking – just do and feel good. I enjoy exercising when pregnant because it makes me appreciate my fitness and the process of achieving high performance. But on the other side, it makes me appreciate why I do all of this in the first place – the pure awesomeness of just being outside, freedom of movement, the quiet of my mind, doing it because I can. It’s really rather simple and one of the biggest mistakes I see with many athletes is overcomplicating the why, forgetting their reasons and making all of this far more important than it should be.
And that concludes the “deep thoughts” section of this entry.
We have a name (still not telling) and, more importantly, WE HAVE A LAMP! If you’ll recall, the acquisition of a lamp before Max was born was a very big deal. My mother insisted that we needed one of those small little lamps that has monkeys and shit on it. INSISTED. Of course I completely doubted this. What the hell do we need a lamp for? Believe me, the mother is always right. You need a lamp. That lamp has been on EVERY NIGHT of Max’s life. And so this little girl will have also have a lamp, this time with a giraffe and an elephant.
Now that we have the lamp, a huge weight has been lifted off of me (just in time for a growing weight to settle deep into my pelvis, head down, locked and loaded, ready to go). I’ve been trying to come up with clever ways to deal with the pain of labor and birth. I’ve thought about the ways I handle pain in training and racing. Learning to welcome and dance with the pain is something all top athletes do. To look at it unafraid, rise up and deal with it.
But if it hurts bad enough, I give myself permission to cry, kick and scream like a little child.
There’s a lot of things I’m looking forward to in the next 6 weeks. Of course meeting this little girl but let me tell you what I might be most excited about: coffee. Dark roasted warm perfection in 16 ounces. As I told my mom today, I need to have this baby so I can stop drinking this decaf. She reminded me that my grandmother couldn’t live without her coffee and drank it through her pregnancies. At that, I got up and asked for a shot of dark roast.
Mother is always right.